5 reasons to celebrate Winter Solstice

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You may be wondering what Winter Solstice actually is? It’s the moment when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun, therefore we are exposed to the least amount of sunlight and the biggest amount of darkness. This planetary situation has a direct impact on our bodies, minds and general wellbeing, regardless whether we’re aware of it or not.    

1. Connect with the universal flow

Consciously approaching Winter Solstice is little bit like driving a car and being aware of the road signs so we know that soon we have to slow down because we’re coming to a junction. We would be probably ok without the warning but may need to be more careful or break really fast. It’s much easier to navigate our inner landscape with the natural rhythms of nature. When we are approaching Winter Solstice consciously we know that there’s very little light available to us, it’s the time of going inward, slowing down and cultivating our inner light. Naturally, we may be feeling a bit down or sluggish and want to hide under warm blanket with a cup of tea. Having this awareness we can let ourselves do that with much more compassion and self-love. It’s called self-care not laziness. The more I listen to my body and connect with the natural rhythms of nature, the more peaceful, healthy and harmonious my life seems to be. It’s about going with the flow of the Universe not against it.     

2. Hope

Let’s face it, it’s dark, cold and going outside doesn’t appeal but deep inside we know that Spring is on its way and it will be beautiful again soon. Hope keep us going. Similarly whatever darkness we may be facing in our lives we must accept it for what it is, feel it fully and in the same time pray and hope that things will change and the light will shine again soon. Let’s be grateful for the darkness as it helps us to appreciate the light even more. In the midst of dark, cold Winter we sometimes feel that it will never end but finding hope in our hearts will see us through. This too shall pass…     

3. Slow down

During Winter Solstice energies are low, even animals hibernate, so it’s not time to go out most nights and run around shopping malls. It’s the time to slow down, listen, go within and enjoy the silence. There will be time for making our goals and dreams come true but now it’s time of slowing down and going inwards to generate energy for the new season. Take time off this festive season and enjoy doing nothing, snuggling up, watching movies and resting.    

4. Re-new yourself

The main reason for slowing down is gathering strength and energy for the new phase of the year. We can’t expect different results next year if we start with the same energy we always had. When we stop, nurture our inner space and raise our vibration in this potent time of the Solstice we renew ourselves to start new. It’s the re-birthing of the Sun and we can re-birth ourselves too, it’s our choice and creativity. Nobody can do it for us. Will you take this opportunity?

 

5. Enjoy your inner light

Realistically there’s a certain amount of light available to us this time of the year. So trying to chase more light is pointless. This is when we turn inward and cherish the light we have inside. And the more we nurture our sacred space and more it nurtures us. It’s not available only to some special people, it’s available for everybody. All we have to do is to connect with our inner light and cultivate this relationship.

So there you have it, a small guide into Winter Solstice. If you would like to celebrate Winter Solstice with like-minded people and really feel its power come and join us in Chorlton on 21st December in One Yoga Studio. All details here.

I’m wishing you lots of awareness, self-compassion and gentleness during this festive time.  

  

Kundalini Yoga Music

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The healing, uplifting and transformational power of music has a very long history. Most cultures have traditions of singing songs because when we sing we are more in touch with our soul and each other. Sound travels easily through water and since our bodies are mainly water this is how the healing happens. Have you heard of the “Happy Birthday Effect”? Look at your family pictures of people just before they sing “Happy Birthday” song and after it and you will see their faces are different, more joyful, radiant and happier after they sung the song. Music is one of Kundalini Yoga’s superpowers. It keeps one focused, creates wonderful atmosphere and connects body, mind and spirit together.

I often get asked about the music I share in my classes so decided to write a blog and feature some of my favourite artists. The only problem is there’s too much good music and I don’t want to overwhelm you so here’s part one and I will follow with some more great music in future posts.

For more information about an artist click on their image.

Music that got my attention even before I’ve started practicing Kundalini Yoga was Snatam Kaur. It was played in my hatha yoga class and it touched me so deeply I had it on repeat on my iPod for a long time.. Snatam has been part of Kundalini Yoga scene from her birth as her father was dedicated student of Yogi Bhajan from early 1970. Her father, Sat Santokh Singh Khalsa, was a manager of the Grateful Dead so both Kundalini Yoga and music were big in their family.

Jai Jagdeesh is another number one on my list:-). Her music is very different to Snatam’s, it’s more modern, she sings mantras and some incredible English songs too. Both very powerful, healing and heart opening. And she is just a very lovely and funny person. Follow her on Instagram for a good laugh.  

Including a picture of me ironing her outfit before her performance in Manchester in 2018. 

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Mirabai Ceiba are my recent favourite so if you come to my classes you have heard it a lot lately. I always knew of them but really fell in love at European Yoga Festival 2018. They led the closing ceremony with live music and it was mind blowing. See the video on my Instagram

Last few artist I want to mention are Gurunam Singh, and two local musicians Benjamin from Wales and Kamari & Manvir from Preston. The last two have very funky twist and will get you dancing, singing and celebrating!

So there you have it. My favourite Kundalini Yoga music at the moment. You will easily find it on Spirit Voyage, YouTube, iTunes and Spotify. Enjoy!

I wonder what’s your favourite new age music at the moment? Please comment below. Sharing is caring:-)

 

7 easy tips for happy and healthy Summer

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Most of us absolutely adore summer time as it’s a time of holidays, festivals and fun in general. It’s been amazing here in Manchester for the last few weeks and everybody is happier, smiling and relaxed.

I believe all seasons are unique and perfect in their own way and embracing each season can be a very insightful and inspiring experience.

Summer is the time when we let our hair down and let ourselves be more spontaneous and care free. However, it can be a fantastic time to engage in more uplifting and inspiring behaviours and create good habits that can serve us for the rest of the year. Sun and Light are supporting us to connect with the best versions of ourselves and transform any negative or unwanted behaviour.  

Here are some tips you can enjoy during the summer time that may encourage you to live a healthier and happier lifestyle after the hot period. 

1. REST

Who fancies working when it’s that hot? Nobody! Listen to your body and whenever you can take an opportunity to slow down and relax. Take a nap in the shade, walk slowly in the sunshine and find stillness in your body. Don’t try to catch up with the housework at the weekend and enjoy this glorious sunshine. Let the Sun recharge you with its fabulous energy! Trust me, you don’t need to do anything, just relax and everything you want and need will come to you.

2. GO TO NATURE

Summer is a great time to connect with nature and see its beauty. Nature can be a very healing force if we let it.

Money problems? See the abundance in nature, feel it and connect with it within yourself to feel again that you’re part of the abundant Universe.

Relationship problems? Sit with your favourite tree, unload and let its wisdom pour into your being. It’s a fantastic communication therapy.

Nature can heal you on so many levels, get out every day and connect with it for a month to see what happens.

3. NOURISH YOUR BODY

I love summer time because my body is craving fresh fruit and vegetables more than ever before. Eating healthy foods is so easy, delicious and fun at this time of the year. Even if you’re not a salad fan usually, this is the best time to try and buy fresh fruit and vegetables that appeal to you. There are loads to choose from so everybody can find something they like. Have a nutritious meal and see how wonderful you feel after.   You may just love it and find yourself eating even healthier later on in the year.

Oh and don’t forget to drink plenty of water too. With lemon, mint or fresh fruit. Do it for your body!

4. MOVE

Another nourishing thing for your body is movement. Whatever tickles your fancy! Running, yoga, tennis, dancing, swimming – so much better done outside in such amazing weather. As a result your body and mind will feel great. Get into good habits now and by Autumn you will be hooked. Addicted to feeling awesome.

5. MEDITATE

I’ve recently started doing a lot of meditation al fresco and it’s very eye opening. I strongly recommend you try it too. Even lying down on the beach (or in the park) and consciously focusing on your breathing can count as meditation. Makes sunbathing much more fun too.

6. HAVE FUN

Cherish every moment in the best way you can. What do you like doing? What did you always want to do? Go wild, get creative and love life. Do something new and get out of your comfort zone. Enjoy this time of the year because it will finish soon and you will be craving Summer and sunshine again. If you really embrace what is and fully participate, you will be happy to welcome the next season with gratitude and open heart, no regrets.  Live in the moment!

7. COMMUNITY

If you choose to have fun, you know it’s best to do it with great friends too, with people who encourage the best of you and appreciate you being you. So either spend more time with your friends and family or make new friends. It will open your heart to a level you never knew existed.

If you would like to spend a Soul nourishing time with like minded people, check out our Kundalini Yoga Retreat in Poland this September

No pressure, no diamonds.

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After practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for almost 8 years, I’m constantly amazed at how it works and how it transforms personalities. It stretches us beyond our physical and mental limits. The transformation in Kundalini Yoga is often referred to as magic or alchemy, as this is exactly what happens.

When we stay in a certain posture for a while we are applying pressure on the body and mind. And this pressure is crucial for a process of purification and healing. The question is what are you going to do with that pressure? Are you going to surrender to it or give into the pressure. The more you surrender to it and let it work on you, the more purification and transformation happens. It’s all about your commitment and how much you’re going to invest of yourself. This is why there’s no initiation in Kundalini Yoga as our effort and commitment is a self-initiation process.

And this is exactly how diamonds are created! Diamonds and coal are both made out of the same material – carbon. The difference is the amount of pressure that is applied to it. There’s obviously greater pressure applied to the diamond and significantly less to the coal. People who do turn up to Kundalini Yoga classes and commit to a Kriya (set of exercises) are pressurised and go through the purification process which in time transforms them into ‘diamonds’. They are strong, beautiful, glowing and pure. That’s the alchemy. "If it’s so great why isn't everybody doing it?" you may ask. The answer is - mind. Mind is hardwired to move us towards pleasure and away from pain. Mind will avoid pressure at all cost. However Kundalini Yoga has some great tools on how to train the mind, to go beyond its limits and help us grow and expand. You don’t even need to practice Kundalini Yoga to understand this. Life too throws many pressures on us to make us grow and shine.

It’s natural for me to see potential in people and put them under pressure, to get the diamond out and let them shine. This is what I do in yoga all the time. Job of a teacher is to poke, provoke, confront and elevate.

Though it is funny when it happens the other way round. I was in a situation recently where I was being pressurised by someone, it taught me a great lesson... I’m trying to learn how to play harmonium at the moment which is a little challenging for me(pain). My partner was saying that I don’t practice enough and I’m not ready for an upcoming performance (applying pressure to me). This hit a big resistance in me, and at first, brought some anger and fear. The resistance is a natural reaction of the mind. Yogi Bhajan said "When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off." This is when the teachings come in very useful. So after feeling a little sorry for myself, ('oh my bruised ego,') I made a plan of playing harmonium twice a day and I’m loving it. I’m learning, stretching and growing again. Thank you for the pressure. No pressure, no diamond. 

I wish you all to grow and shine and go beyond any limitations!

This Girl Can

 This post won’t be about achievements we traditionally perceive.  I have no intentions of showing off, proving myself or craving any admiration. I would like to invite you to my world just as it is at the moment. Raw, vulnerable and real.  After recent death of my parents, my life turned upside down. And I’m not taking about headstand. Unless one stays in the headstand for months because this is exactly how I’m feeling right now.  Everything I was proud of and defined by in the past has disappeared. My vitality, radiance, positive energy, passion for life, divine practice, pure and simple mind, sense of security and support. It’s all gone. Just like my parents are gone. And it hurts, really hurts. Physically, mentally and emotionally!  So when I made the poster “This girl can” I meant:  This girl can get to work after sleepless nights.  This girl can face life even tho there seems to be no point.  This girl can show up beside enormous pain she is in.  This girl can feel sadness, loss, depression, frustration, anger, hopelessness and betrayal sometimes all in one hour.  This girl can walk even tho crawling seems like too much.  But I’ve made friends with grief now. We are getting closer now and understand each other more. I know this grief is simply love that took a different form. Nothing ever disappears, it just changes its form. So my parents haven’t disappear neither, and my vitality, radiance and all the things I’ve mentioned above. They are all there, they just look differently. I need to keep my eyes, ears, mind and all my senses open as they are not the same as they used to be. This situation, yet again, is calling for my awareness, presence, innocence and openness. And this understanding helps me get out of bed as difficult as it is often times.  I’m grateful for sleepless nights for finally I understand insomniacs who come to my classes.  I’m grateful for depression because I forgot what it feels like (that’s what Kundalini Yoga does to you). Now I will be able to have more empathy for people who suffer with depression and help them overcome it.  I’m grateful for grief because grief is love. And as hard as it is at times, I still remember the primal truth “We are love”  This girl can… LOVE  Sat nam! 

This post won’t be about achievements we traditionally perceive.  I have no intentions of showing off, proving myself or craving any admiration. I would like to invite you to my world just as it is at the moment. Raw, vulnerable and real.

After recent death of my parents, my life turned upside down. And I’m not taking about headstand. Unless one stays in the headstand for months because this is exactly how I’m feeling right now.

Everything I was proud of and defined by in the past has disappeared. My vitality, radiance, positive energy, passion for life, divine practice, pure and simple mind, sense of security and support. It’s all gone. Just like my parents are gone. And it hurts, really hurts. Physically, mentally and emotionally!

So when I made the poster “This girl can” I meant:

This girl can get to work after sleepless nights.

This girl can face life even tho there seems to be no point.

This girl can show up beside enormous pain she is in.

This girl can feel sadness, loss, depression, frustration, anger, hopelessness and betrayal sometimes all in one hour.

This girl can walk even tho crawling seems like too much.

But I’ve made friends with grief now. We are getting closer now and understand each other more. I know this grief is simply love that took a different form. Nothing ever disappears, it just changes its form. So my parents haven’t disappear neither, and my vitality, radiance and all the things I’ve mentioned above. They are all there, they just look differently. I need to keep my eyes, ears, mind and all my senses open as they are not the same as they used to be. This situation, yet again, is calling for my awareness, presence, innocence and openness. And this understanding helps me get out of bed as difficult as it is often times.

I’m grateful for sleepless nights for finally I understand insomniacs who come to my classes.

I’m grateful for depression because I forgot what it feels like (that’s what Kundalini Yoga does to you). Now I will be able to have more empathy for people who suffer with depression and help them overcome it.

I’m grateful for grief because grief is love. And as hard as it is at times, I still remember the primal truth “We are love”

This girl can… LOVE

Sat nam! 

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